MALACANANG launched its title campaign on a high note even as Department of Agriculture and Department of Health beat fellow newcomers in the 6th UNTV Cup at the Pasig City Sports Center.
With the red-hot shooting of Erick dela Cuesta and Christian Luanzon, the Malacanang Kamao pulled off a remarkable 92-90 come-from-behind win over the National Housing Authority Builders in Group B action.
One of the best shooters the now-defunct Philippine Basketball League produced, Dela Cuesta fired 29 points while Luanzon sparkled late in the game to finish with 22 points. Malacanang rallied from a 73-56 deficit to pull it trough and tie the DA Food Masters of Sec. Manny Pinol for the early lead.
The Food Masters leaned on ex-pro Ulyses Tanigue to beat the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, 104-100, in the tournament organized by UNTV president and CEO Daniel Razon for the country’s public servants.
A former member of the Philippine Youth team, Tanigue finished with 26 points, seven assists, five rebounds and three steals.
Also getting off to a fine start were the DOH Healthy Achievers who demolished the Commission on Audit Enablers, 122-95.
The win put the Healthy Achievers on level with defending champion PNP Responders in Group A of the tournament offering P4 million to the champion and P2 million to the runner-up.